Thursday, July 26, 2007

Dataprotector Poor tape reset

The other day at work a whole bunch of backup jobs failed a in the process all the used tapes had been marked red in dataprotector with a "POOR" quality label.
As a result, that tapes are unusable until the retension time expires.

Luckily, there is something you can.

Open a command screen on your DP server and browse to the folder c:\Program Files\OmniBack\bin. Probably best put it in the path, so you can execute commands from anywhere.
Anyway, with the command omnimm you can do all tape & drive related manipulations, perfect for scripting purposes.
One of these options is resetting the tape quality. To do this, execute this command: omnimm -reset_poor_medium . Not even a second later, you'll get a message: Reset poor flag on medium .
The tape is now back in "GOOD" quality and ready to use.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Enable Remote Desktop via registry

Ever configured and installed a PC or server in a remote location only to discover that you have forgotten to enable the "remote desktop" option? I have ...

Luckily, there is no need to jump into your car and drive over there. You can adjust it, like most things, with a simple registry key adjustment.

1. Open the registry editor
2. Connect to the remote computers with the "connect network registry" option
3. find the key fDenyTSConnections located in HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server
4. change value from 1 to 0

A reboot of the computer is not required.

Monday, July 23, 2007

AD must have tools

Brian McCann has written an article on his site on which tools are must have for any 'lazy' IT'er.

I'm sure that most of you already know and use the tools:
- GP inventory
- DStool

But this here is really interesting and not so much know:
- PolicyMaker Registry Extension (with this you can actually change registry settings via GPO!)
- Account lockout & management tools: acctinfo.dll, ALoInfo.exe & EventCombMT.exe (Registering this dll will add an extra tab in your AD users & computers with all the account info which not visible before!)
- Remote control add-on (add to the right-click menu in your AD users & computers an option "Remote control" for easier access to the computer)

Except for the policy maker (which is freeware), these tools are all part of Microsofts Resource kit. So fully legal & fully supported.

I've been using these enhancements now for a month a like them so much I wonder how I managed before. A real tip!

Anyway, read his whole article here:
Must have AD tools

Friday, July 20, 2007

Mighty ESXpatcher

Patching you ESX server is a complicated process if it is done manually: copying and extracting every patch manually to every ESX server, running the necessary commands via a SSH, rebooting the server, ...

Now, there is a patch management tool from VMTS which can be found at A freeware tool which does most of the work for you.
However, it is quite difficult to set up, since it needs several requirements to be met: installing putty.exe in the correct path, installing winSCP & correct configuration, FTP server, extracting the patches with winRAR, ...

I've found online a tool which does everything for you, created by Peter Rudolf. It can be found at Mighty ESX patcher.
It's an incredible simple GUI that will install all your ESX patches for you. When there are patches for a wrong system for example ESX 3.0.0, it will skip them and notify you.

To use this tool, just install it on your client computer which is connected to your network, download the required ESX patches from , safe them in this folder: C:\Program Files\esxpatcher\patches\3.0.1 and then connect to your ESX server in the tool.

As you can see in the print screen, you will see all the available patches which you have downloaded, which patches already have been installed, progress status, ...

When you click on "Install patches", the tool will do everything automatically: put the ESX in maintenance mode, opening the firewall ports, installing the patches, rebooting, ...

It's just that simple.

There is however 1 known issue you have to know about: it's still a beta version, so it's being worked on, but ... Even though the program works perfectly for me, when it hits the part of actually installing the patches, the computer will tell you that the program stopped responding and asks you to shut it down or wait. Click on "WAIT", the program did not stop, it is functioning correclty. When the patching is done (which can be an hour or longer), the program will tell you all the results you need.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Crashing mailbox/public folder store on Exchange 2000

When you have a mailbox or public folder store on an Exchange 2000 which has crashed, changes are pretty good that the database size has exceeded its maximum permitted size of 16 GB.

Check your eventviewer to see if you see messages:

Event ID: 1112
Description: The database "Mailbox Store" has reached the maximum allowed size. Attempting to unmount the database
Event ID: 445
Description: Information Store (3160) The database D:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\MDBDATA\priv1.edb has reached its maximum size of 16383 MB.

This is default behaviour, designed by Microsoft to protect the database from inserting more data than it can handle.

There are 2 things you can do to rectify the problem, which are probably best used together:

1. Temporarily increase the limit size to 17 GB, mount the store back in your exchange server and start archiving/deleting old mails.

To increase the limit size it suffices to locate the registry key add the registry key [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\ MSExchangeIS\AEX\Private-15908017-eb7c-473f-93a9-6e5ab8762fc7] and adding a REG_DWORD value
Temporary DB Size Limit Extension with the value of 1.
This value is only read when the database is started, so in the services we have to restart the Microsoft Exchange Information Store.

2. After you've succesfully mounted the store in you exchange and archived/deleted old mails, you'll notice that the size of the database file priv1.ebd is still the same value. That is because the data is removed from the database, but the remaining data does not move up, thus creating white spaces in the database.
To physically shrink this file, we have to perform an offline defragmentation.

To do this we Dismount the store in your exchange system manager and then run the eseutil from the command prompt. This util is located in the \Exchsrvr\bin folder on your server.
Execute the command: eseutil /d to start defragmenting the database.

Be advised that this offline defragmentation can easily take 4 hours or more, depending on the hardware and the state of the database.
Also ensure that you have at least 110 % of the current database size of free space left on the partition, otherwise the offline defrag will fail!

Further options with this eseutil are repairing the database (/p), checking the integrity (/g), recovery (/d), restore (/r).

Last, but not least important, don't forget to remove the registry key, so you still have options next time you have this problem ...